War. War never changes.
When the Foundation first started out, they believed their goal to save humanity from the terrors of the world would last forever, that they'd be able to find and contain that which we could not understand, protecting us from the monsters living in our closets. The Foundation however overlooked a terror that existed everyday in front of everyone. A terror that would eventually bring the Earth to a barren wasteland, a terror that would create monsters of its own, a terror that would cause wars for years to come.
The Foundation overlooked humanity.
In the early 2050's when the Resource Wars began, The Foundation did not fear anything. They had enough of a hold in world governments that they'd be able to assure their resources would not be taken from them. However, as the oil wells dried up and uranium mines became empty, the Foundation was forced to move, forced to go to the only reliable source of resources left; the United States of America.
If you meet anyone who knows anything about the history of the world before the war, they will tell you that Europe and the Middle East fought against each other until they destroyed each other. Even then the Foundation was good at covering up the terrors that destroyed towns and cities.
As the USA and China were on the brink of nuclear war, the USA begged the Foundation to help, to use what they had contained to defeat the red menace, to secure America's victory. The O5 council was split. Some wanted to oblige, stating that if they didn't help, humanity would soon destroy itself. Others stated that the Foundation did not exist to solve such matters and that they should stay out of it.
During the time that they spent bickering, humanity had grown tired of waiting for the Foundation to save them, to shield them from the impending nuclear fire. As the bombs engulfed the land, the O5 council watched as humanity destroyed itself, watched as they realised that they had failed their goal, failed to protect humanity.
However, despite the predictions that humanity would be destroyed, it remained. Hundreds of years later, humanity carried on surviving. Unbeknownst to most, so did the Foundation. In over 200 years of humanity changing, adapting to the wasteland it had created, the Foundation had been hiding underground, unchanged for over 200 years. And war…
War never changes.
"Are we there yet?"
"How about now?"
"Nope and the next time you ask it'll be no and the time after that and even the time after that."
"What about the time after the time after that time…after that?"
Lucy turned around to face Jeremy, looked straight into his eyes and said "Especially the time after that."
Lucy and Jeremy had been travelling the wasteland for days. How many days? Well they'd lost count around 3. You'd be forgiven for thinking that these two should be killing each other rather than travelling with each other.
Lucy was a tall ex-caravanner, dirty jeans, leather jacket, and chestnut brown hair. In her hands she carried a weathered Laser Rifle and in her mind she carried a world of pain. She'd not been too trusting of folk or too sympathetic since her caravan was destroyed by a group of raiders. Made it out of there with nothing but her clothes, shotgun and some scars as a reminder.
So the fact that this battle stricken warrior was hanging around with a teenage Vault dweller with black scruffy hair who's only experience of battle was the occasional bully in the corridor made this situation even more confusing.
Jeremy and Lucy first met when Jeremy had just emerged from Vault 14 and immediately tried to make friends with a local Deathclaw. Any rational or sane human being would have run 180 degrees in the other direction however Jeremy had been part of one of Vault-Tec's experiments.
The inhabitants of Vault 14 were picked for being incredibly friendly and trusting to complete strangers. The Vault was to open 200 years after the Great war so the inhabitants were free to roam the wasteland. The test was to see if such trusting and friendly people could survive in a world run by bandits and mutants. The answer turned out to be "no unless someone with a laser rifle is near by".
Lucy kept Jeremy around not for friendship or for any beneficial reason. She kept Jeremy around because she knew he'd end up getting himself killed if she let him out of his sight. She'd had dogs that weren't as stupid as him however it was sort endearing…the sort of endearing that might get her killed but still endearing.
They were currently heading West along a deserted road, the only landmarks being the occasional rotting Nuka Cola truck or stripped to the bone Chryslus. Recently they'd heard of a city in the middle of the desert with electricity, food, water and everything any traveller should need. They called it "New Vegas".
"So when we get to Vegas, are we gonna stay there or is there more of this walking?" asked Jeremy.
"I don't know." responded Lucy, not interested in what would happen once they got to Vegas.
"Cause y'know, I'd like to maybe sit down for a while and just talk to people and make some friends. Did you know I like making friends?"
"No Jeremy I had absolutely no ide-"
Lucy stopped suddenly, looking at the ground on the side of the road. She put out her arm to catch Jeremy, to stop him from carrying on walking.
"What is it?" Jeremy asked, looking in the same direction as Lucy.
Lucy wondered over to the point she was looking at. Jeremy followed cautiously. As they both neared the point on the ground, they noticed something metallic under the dirt.
"A Pip-Boy? Why would someone have dropped their Pip-Boy?" Jeremy asked, completely oblivious to the fact that its owner likely didn't drop it intentionally.
Lucy didn't respond to Jeremy. She had seen a door in the rock formation ahead. She walked up to the door and opened it slowly. Jeremy meanwhile, began fiddling with the Pip-Boy, trying to find out who's it was and what Vault they had come from.
"Vault 25," they both said in unison.
"How'd you know that?" Lucy questioned.
"It says on this Pip-Boy." Jeremy responded. "How did you know?"
"Because I've just found Vault 25."
A large mechanical piston swooped down and locked onto the huge lumbering Vault door. The sound of grinding metal echoed throughout the Vault as the piston effortlessly pulled the Vault door. The piston let go of the door, allowing the door to freely roll to the side, revealing the Vault's entrance to Lucy and Jeremy.
"Should we be going in here?" asked Jeremy, partly out of fear and partly out of being told not to go into other Vaults during his Vaults education.
"Well technically no, however there might be some supplies in here that we'll need," Lucy said as they walked into the Vault.
"But we have plenty of supplies, it can't be that far to Vegas can it?"
"We're running out of water, we've been travelling for days and haven't seen any indication that Vegas is nearby. We need these supplies."
Jeremy reluctantly obliged, following Lucy into the Vault. As they walked down the rusting, metal corridors, they noticed something about this Vault. A logo that had been on the Vault door and seemed to be everywhere inside too.
"Well it's not a Vault-Tec logo…maybe this was a military Vault?" Lucy asked Jeremy as they opened another door which led into a pitch black area.
"Why would the military need a Vault?" Jeremy asked as the lights in this area switched on.
Both of them watched as the lights revealed a huge structure with doors all around the outside, fenced catwalks and seemingly a bottomless pit. It looked almost like a prison. Both Lucy and Jeremy were paralysed by the sheer size of the structure.
"What is it?" Lucy asked Jeremy.
"I dunno." Jeremy responded, both still staring at the structure.
"What do you mean you don't know? You came from a Vault!"
"Yeah but it didn't look like this."
They made their way along a catwalk leading to the centre of the structure. In the middle of the structure was some sort of office overlooking the rest of the structure, as if the office itself was watching all these doors.
The office itself seemed to be some sort of security office, possibly designed for guards. Consoles and computers were all around the edge of the room, lockers and file cabinets had been knocked over in the centre now laying in a pile of dust.
Lucy walked over to one of the computers which had been left on. It was stuck on the usual login screen. Having fiddled with a few terminals across the wasteland, Lucy knew how to hack into the RobCo terminals. She began hacking her way into the computer. After a while of guessing random words like "country" and "ashtray", the green text on the screen displayed a list of numbers with the letters "SCP" in front of them. Using the keyboard, she scrolled through them and them pressed enter to view one of these files.
The computer began ticking as it displayed the file.
Item #: SCP-1093
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1093 is to be kept inside a sealed 5 meter by 5 meter containment cell. The cell is to be encased in a 30 centimeter thick lining of lead. Personnel are prohibited from entering the containment cell or making contact with SCP-1093 unless instructed by Level 4 personnel assigned to the object.
"What is this place?" Lucy asked rhetorically as she carried on reading. Jeremy was looking around the office at the consoles and computers. He came across another computer like the one Lucy was sat on, stuck on a screen saying "Warning! Restarting grid Alpha-5 will shut off the following containment procedures: SCP-1145. Do you wish to continue?"
Without thinking Jeremy pressed enter on the keyboard to continue the restart. Almost as soon as he pressed it, alarms began ringing with flashing red light illuminating the structure. Lucy turned to Jeremy. "What did you do?!" she asked, fear and anger coming across in the tone of her voice.
Sentrybots appeared from concealed points around the structure, making their way along the catwalks to an area in front of Lucy and Jeremy. They could see a large metal door slowly rising upwards as water began to pour out of the room.
Jeremy looked back at the computer screen. It now read "WARNING! Containment breach detected! Deploying Security Forces!" As Jeremy was reading, white Mister Gutsies flew past, all having the same logo seen around the Vault painted on them.
"I think maybe we should leave?" Jeremy said, already heading towards the door.
"Not without supplies!" Lucy said as she ran past Jeremy and onto the catwalk.
"Supplies?!" Jeremy shouted as he ran after her, both unaware of what was being released behind them.
"I really don't think there's anything useful in this place, I really think we should leave." Jeremy was almost to begging point as they walked down a hallway filled with doors.
Lucy ignored Jeremy, looking through the small windows on each door to see if there were any supplies inside however so far she hadn't been able to tell what was behind these doors. As she looked into one of these cells she noticed an odd looking statue up against the far corner of the room.
"Well that's creepy," Lucy said as she carried onto the next door. Jeremy looked through the same window. The statue had moved unbeknownst to Jeremy and was now right up against the door with its spray painted face staring back at Jeremy. "Yep that's pretty creepy."
The hallway seemed endless as Lucy looked through door after door. "Lucy, there is nothing down here. I understand we need supplies but I really think we should go." Lucy rested her head on a door in exhaustion, knowing Jeremy was right. She reluctantly agreed to leave as they began walking back to the entrance.
"So what do you think this place is?" Jeremy asked Lucy. "A prison of some sort? A military one I would guess. Maybe they were experimenting on people like they were in the other Vaults."
"They were experimenting on people in the other Vaults? Well they weren't in mine!" Lucy just looked at Jeremy, smiling as if to say "Oh really?" and then carried on walking. As they got close to the office they noticed something coming towards them.
"Is…is that a floating teddy bear?" Lucy asked as the anomalous teddy bear began floating towards them.
Jeremy's Pip-Boy began clicking as the rad-count went up considerably. "Whatever it is, it's really really really radioactive." Jeremy said as they both started moving backwards. The teddy bear carried on floating towards them. "I've got some Rad-X in my pack, quick get it out" Jeremy fumbled through Lucy's backpack to find the Rad-X. They both took the pills and waited for them to kick in however the bear kept advancing and Rad-counter kept going up.
"I don't think the Rad-X is going to help." Jeremy said nervously as he looked at his Pip-Boy's Rad-counter. "I am not dying down here because of a fucking teddy bear!" Lucy shouted as she pulled her Laser Rifle out and began shooting at the bear. The first two shots missed, passing close to the bear. The third shot is a direct hit, causing the teddy bear to catch fire however it carried on, seemingly unaffected by the fire consuming it.
"What the fuck is this thing?!" Lucy shouted, shooting at it again and again. The bear was getting too close to them now, the Pip-Boy's Rad-counter now deafening them with clicks.
They both collapsed onto the floor as the bear got closer. The last thing they could see is a bright light as the sounds of mechanical arms echoed throughout the hallway.
"Great show old chap. Once again you have beaten me at the hardest game of all, Blackjack! Truly you are the greatest person to have ever lived." The old gentleman said in an upper class English accent.
Jeremy was surrounded by women in fancy dresses, seemingly magnetised to him. In front of him stood piles of chips and bottle caps.
"I am the best in the world at Blackjack" Jeremy shouted out loud as the women and men around him laughed. Jeremy turned to the woman on his right. Her long blonde hair rolled down her shoulders, her bright red lips pushed together as her blue eyes look into Jeremy's
"So what was your name again?" Jeremy asked, pulling the woman towards him. "Violet, hot stuff." She said, winking at Jeremy as she did. Jeremy smiled and then turned to the woman on his left. "And your name sweet thing?" he said, pulling her closer to him.
"Civillian! Wake up immediately!" She said in a robotic, British male sounding voice.
"Uh…I…what?" Jeremy said now confused.
"I think you better wake up Jeremy!" a voice said from behind him. Jeremy turned to face the voice. A life-size Vault Boy was standing in front of him, somehow appearing two dimensional. Vault boy gave Jeremy a thumbs up and a wink.
Jeremy realised what was happening. "Oh god no, it's another dream isn't it? Can't I just stay for a bit longer? Please?"
Jeremy slowly opened his eyes to see a Mister handy floating above him.
"Civilian! You are to wake up and follow me immediately!" It said again, staring at Jeremy with its golden robotic eyes.
Jeremy looked around the room he was in. It was some sort of medical wing. He noticed that he had a Rad-away drip attached to his arm and various used Stimpaks were scattered on a table next to him. He could not see Lucy anywhere.
"Where's Lucy?" He asked becoming concerned.
"Ah! Yes! Your accomplice! Follow me and I will take you to her!" The robot practically shouted at Jeremy.
Jeremy carefully removed the Rad-away drip out of his arm. Not knowing where he was or what was going on, Jeremy followed the robot out of the room…oh and also, this is Jeremy, he trusts almost everything that can speak. They walked down a corridor, not like the corridors they had been walking down before, these ones appeared clean, new, white. The doors were made of wood, clean wood. The robot then led Jeremy through one of the doors into a room with a long table at one end, a TV screen above the table and only a few dim lights illuminating the room and also illuminating Lucy who was sat on a chair, facing the table.
"You took your time." Lucy said to Jeremy, looking relieved.
"I was just winning at blackjack and talking to this lovely lady called Violet."
Lucy's face changed to one of confusion. "What?"
The screen above the desk then flickered on. A face appeared of a woman, about 30-35 years of age with short red hair, small lips and wearing a grey suit. The face remained motionless as words began coming from concealed speakers.
"Welcome civilians to Vault 25. I imagine you have questions. Questions as to why you are here, where here is and what happened down in the Vault. All of these questions are perfectly normal and you are entitled to ask them. The answers however you are not entitled to receive. Normally, Protocols say that in the event of civilians discovering this Vault, the civilians must be terminated to keep the secrets of this Vault safe. This is why there are currently two sentry guns pointed at your heads."
Both Lucy and Jeremy looked round the room. They were able to make out the shape of two sentry guns in the dark corners of the room in front of them. The voice began to speak again.
"However, I have watched the end of civilisation, I have watched the Human Race descend into chaos and decay, I have watched the violent and brutal nature of humanity without leadership. All of this however, is nothing compared to what is in this facility. Seeing my own race die as this Vault keeps these monstrosities alive has given more some sort of…compassion. My fellow co-workers would disagree with what I'm about to do. Fortunately for you, they are not here."
"I don't understand, where are we?" Jeremy asked the voice.
"As I said, the answers you are not entitled to. The answers you wish to seek will not help you understand any more than simply not telling you. And this is what you must do. You must not tell anyone about this place. Forget you came here, forget what you saw, continue with your lives as so many civilians before you have. Keep this place a secret or we will for you. Do you understand?"
"I understand but sooner or later more than one or two people will find this place. If the NCR or Legion find this Vault, they will find out what's happening here." Lucy said back to the voice, trying to get her point across.
"And when that day arrives, I hope they're ready to deal with the consequences. Now if there are no more questions, the door to your right will lead out of here and back into the wasteland. I have given you the supplies I can spare. It should be enough to get you to New Vegas."
"How did you know we were going to New Vegas?" Jeremy asked as he stood up.
"Why else would you be all the way out here? Follow the road to the west. You'll know when you're near."
"Thank you. Before we go however…who are you?" Lucy asked the voice.
There was a pause before the voice began to speak again. "I was known as O5-6. My real name, is something that was lost a long time ago."
The screen then cut off and the speakers went silent. Lucy and Jeremy looked at each other as they made their way through the door. As they left the Vault, the heavy, metallic door of Vault 25 rolled into the position it was originally in. Lucy and Jeremy then carried on walking along the road they had been before.
"So…when will we be there?" Jeremy asked Lucy, not wishing to go against what they had agreed with O5-6.
"I don't know Jeremy…and no I won't know in another ten minutes either…or the ten minutes after that."
The two carried on walking through the wasteland to the city of hopes and dreams they had heard about. As they made their way along the road, an eyebot followed them. An eyebot painted white with the same mysterious logo they had seen before painted on it. While the voice had told them that it would let them go, it had not told them that they would forever be under the watch of the Foundation, forever being watched to make sure they'd keep the Foundation a secret.
The Foundation was like war, it followed humanity wherever it went, it brought out the best and worst in humanity, helped shape the world around it. And war…
War never changes.